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What to Expect During Your First Year as a Truck Driver

Becoming a truck driver is more than a career choice. It’s a lifestyle choice you shouldn’t take lightly. Rather than home-cooked meals, you’ll be eating fast food. You’ll be showering at truck stops and sleeping in a small bed. The best way to make a decision on whether or not to become a truck driver is to do some research on what to expect. If you’re reading this now, you’re on the right path. Learn all you can about the lifestyle of a truck driver and make sure it’s the right step for you before signing up.

Challenging Schedules

Since drivers who have been driving for a company for years typically get first pick on assignments, that means the newbies get the leftovers. You’ll get the jobs in desolate places and big cities where making a delivery can be a challenge. Getting last pick also means getting the schedules no one else wanted that run during late hours. It won’t be until you’ve built up a good reputation by keeping to your delivery schedule and stayed with the company for a while that you will be able to start having some say in what assignments you get.

Paid Travel

A benefit of being a truck driver is all the travel you get to do and get paid to do it. You will have the opportunity to experience other regions of the country you likely never would have visited otherwise. Seeing the rest of the country will help you gain a new perspective on life as well as become more knowledgeable about culture, people, and terrain.

Stress on Family

Even as a truck driver rookie, days at home will be scarce. You’re looking at one day at home for one week on the road. If you have a family and are considering becoming a truck driver, let them know what to expect and give them some say in your decision. Your job will affect both you and them. Being away from home for the majority of the year can be stressful on relationships and may test their strength past what you would want. When you come home, all you’ll want to do is rest in your spacious bed. For the sake of your family, don’t. Make your home time all about doing things with your family and close friends.


As a truck driver, you will also have to get used to driving alone for 8 to 10 hours a day. The only people you will see will be strangers at gas stops and restaurants. Being alone so much can cause you to become detached from your normal life and even become depressed. To keep a hold on reality, use technology to help you stay connected with everyone at home. Post ideas on Facebook that have been going through your head on the road. Call your family while you drive. Find creative ways to keep yourself from becoming a hermit by embracing relationships with other truck drivers and keeping connected online.

Since this is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a career choice, take some time to consider what you’d be getting into. Don’t make a hasty decision to say yes and regret it later, because you decided to ignore a warning flag. If you get homesick after a couple days, truck driving probably isn’t for you. If you need to be physically active or get bored easily, again, rethink your choice. But if you’ve done your research and still feel excited and confident about the job, consider getting your CDL licensing from United Truck Driving School to start your path down a new road.